BELPRE – Schools in the city of Belpre held the third in a series of community meetings on Tuesday evening to discuss proposals to consolidate all schools in the city into one facility in the future.
Tuesday’s meeting, which attracted around 75 people, was held at Belpre Secondary / Secondary School after two September meetings at Belpre Primary School.
After a tour of the high school, the meeting was led by Fanning Howey, the company hired by the Belpre Town School Education Council to gather information and feedback on the community and prepare options for possible construction. .
Tim Hamilton, an educational consultant for the company, said the overall plan calls for the construction of an all-grade 12 preschool facility in Belpre. The current options being considered would have it built either on the elementary site or on the primary / secondary school site, with various changes made depending on available space and price.
The overall cost at present is expected to be around $ 50-51 million for the new base construction and demolition of the old schools and the council office. The Ohio Facilities Building Commission (OFCC) will provide 56 percent of the amount, or about $ 25 million, while the remainder will need to be collected by the district.
Belpre District is also expected to provide money to LFIs, or locally funded initiatives, which are not covered by OFCC funding. As an example, OFCC funding will cover a gymnasium of a certain size depending on several factors, but if the district wants a larger gymnasium or more seats, they will have to fund the additions themselves.
The current plan would require construction to be done in two segments, one for Kindergarten to Grade 5 and the other for Grade 6 to 12.
Fanning Howey had prepared three options for consideration and discussion at Tuesday’s meeting. The first option was split in two, with the construction of the PreK-5 building and a new stadium on the current elementary site for $ 33 million or the construction of the PreK-5 building and new baseball / softball fields for $ 30 million. of dollars. Under these options, the current stadium or ball fields would remain in use and Building 6-12 would be the second segment constructed.
Another option would be to construct the Prek-5 building on the Elemental Fieldless Site at a cost of $ 28 million.
The third option discussed on Tuesday involved starting the project with building 6-12 on the current junior / high site at a cost of $ 37.6 million.
Participants at Tuesday’s meeting were split into three groups and had the opportunity to discuss the three main options with representatives from Fanning Howey in more detail and ask questions. They were asked to submit written comments on any ideas, concerns, and additional questions they might have for the business to incorporate into future planning.
The next community meeting will be on October 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Belpre High School / High School. This meeting will focus on a review of comments received from Tuesday’s meeting, a discussion of LFI’s options and priorities and the potential costs and mileage to the district.